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Kite Pharma Expands Partnership with NCI

January 15, 2016

Will collaborate with the experimental transplantation and immunology branch

Kite Pharma has entered into a research and development agreement with The National Cancer Insitute (NCI) for the research and clinical development of a fully human anti-CD19 chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) product candidate for the treatment of B-cell lymphomas and leukemias. Kite will collaborate with Jim Kochenderfer, an investigator in the experimental transplantation and immunology branch of the NCI, to evaluate this product candidate in a Phase 1 clinical study this year.

In addition, the newly established agreement will focus on the development of next-generation CAR programs directed against other novel antigens for the treatment of B-cell lymphomas and leukemias. Kite will also continue to advance multiple CAR and T cell receptor (TCR) programs under its existing agreement with the surgery branch of the NCI.

“We are delighted to expand our partnership with the NCI by working with the experimental transplantation and immunology branch,” said Arie Belldegrun, chairman, president, and chief executive officer, Kite Pharma. “Our close collaboration with the surgery branch over the past three years has enabled us to advance the science behind T cell therapy and to expand our clinical product candidate portfolio at Kite. The new CRADA is a natural step in our life cycle management strategy to further improve the success of CAR therapy for patients with advanced B-cell malignancies.”

“Dr. Kochenderfer is a world renowned expert in T cell therapy who pioneered innovative CAR T therapies for patients with aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma,” said David Chang, chief medical officer and executive vice president of research and development, Kite Pharma. “His seminal research in anti-CD19 CAR T cell therapy has been instrumental for our lead product candidate, KTE-C19, which is currently in four Kite-sponsored clinical trials in B-cell malignancies.”
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